Weight Loss: How to Stay Motivated
The sole process of losing weight is harder than it has to be, and mostly because we lack proper motivation. We start working out and dieting, and suddenly we are not motivated anymore. We stop seeing the purpose of it. We say “I’ll have cake today, and tomorrow I’ll get back to my diet”, or “Today I don’t feel like working out, I’ll continue tomorrow”. But then, when we break that cycle of consistency, and eating right and exercising stop being a habit, we quickly lose our motivation, fall back into old habits and all our efforts end up being in vain.
But we don’t want this to happen anymore. You don’t want to be that person who gives up on his goals just because motivation vanished into thin air.
You CAN do it. You are able to. There is nothing standing in your way but you. You are the person standing between you and your goals.
The only problem putting you in that spot is motivation. So, how can we solve this problem?
Don’t push yourself too hard.
If you start extremely motivated, the chances of that motivation dropping very low very quickly are high. The key to sustaining motivation for a longer period is to keep it steady and not too high or low. As a clinical psychologist from the University of Alabama, Joshua C. Klapow, Ph.D. says, there is no point in wasting energy trying to stay highly motivated when motivation has its own natural rhythm, has its ups and downs and when it goes down it shouldn’t be considered a failure. If you let your motivation take its course and stop trying so hard to keep it high, you will succeed and stay on track.
Stop looking for inspiration in skinny models.
We all have different body types and the fact is, we can’t all look like Adriana Lima. But what we can do is look the best WE can, and as a motivation you can look for a picture of a person that has a similar body type as yours and looks the way you would like to look. Accept your body and the things you can’t change and work towards changing what you can. Of course, even if your body type allows you to become very skinny, it is not healthy, so it would be best to reach some weight you feel comfortable having, somewhere close to your prescribed ideal weight and not go below it. If you are using some unattainable model types as your motivation, chances are you will become frustrated because you can’t reach that level of skinny, and maybe even give in to bad habits again and gain weight. A study conducted in Netherlands showed that people who looked up to skinny models from the covers of magazines didn’t lose much weight – some didn’t lose weight at all, while some even gained. The scientists have agreed that the reason for this is that women were discouraged by the image of an unattainable standard, so they gave up.
Focus on how you will feel, not what your weight will be.
Instead of having that wanted number on the scale on your mind all the time, focus on how you will feel after a workout and a healthy meal and think about how not exercising and eating junk food makes you feel bad and discourages you. Thinking only about the end goal can quickly ruin your efforts by weakening your motivation, especially if you put your goals too high and you expect too much from yourself in a very short period. That usually leads to frustration and giving up, according to the director of psychology training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He says that focusing on the feeling instead of numbers will bring you the benefits of losing weight, but it will maintain your motivation as well.
Put a piece of clothing you want to wear when you lose weight where you can see it all the time.
Put that dress, pants, skirt, shirt, whatever you like besides your mirror or in plain sight and it will remind you daily what your goal is and it will help you not to give up. Visualize yourself wearing it and think about how good you will look and feel in it.
Take photos of your progress to see how far you’ve come.
The way you look says much more than a number on a scale, so taking pictures every week so you can reflect on your progress can be a good motivator. The best would be to take a picture after a workout in your underwear so you can see exactly what changed and how much. You can sometimes even weigh more but look thinner. This is because muscles are heavier than fat, and by eating healthy and exercising you can replace those pesky fat layers with toned muscles.
Stop being so self-critical.
Criticism rarely motivates, but it very often destroys motivation and efforts towards weight loss. When we are self-critical, we get stressed, and our body produces the stress hormone cortisol which prevents us from losing weight by making us crave fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods. Accept yourself the way you are, and strive to be better without diminishing your current state and looks. Positivity is the key to success, and you need plenty of it to stay motivated.